Burt Reynolds in The Longest Yard (1974) will be screening at The Wildey Theater in Edwardsville, Il at 7pm Tuesday, January 28th. Admission is $2.
Hollywood veteran director Robert Aldrich gave Burt Reynolds one of his biggest hits – and best roles – in this seriocomic tale of prison life and football. On the surface, the character of Paul Crewe is fairly despicable – he is a smartass, a drunk, and a violent malcontent not above mistreating women. But Reynolds not only makes us like Crewe, he makes us actually root for him to find redemption. With Eddie Albert and Ed Lauter as the villains, and wonderful character performances from Richard Kiel, Michael Conrad, Bernadette Peters, and many others, Yard doesn’t gloss over its portrayal of prison society. The hard life often explodes in violence, racial tensions abound, and then there’s the warden’s secretary.